Have you been down to visit the ladies in payroll lately?
I use the word “down” because most organizations hide the payroll department in the worst real estate in any corporate office setting, and you know that’s true. The garden level sounds nice until you find out that it means the basement with no real light.
I also use the word “ladies” because, whether you want to admit this or not, roughly 90 percent of payroll associates are female. That isn’t official CareerBuilder analytical data; that’s the Tim Sackett data machine I use when I need to make up a number that seems mostly accurate.
I want to stand up for the payroll ladies. I think they have been getting a bad rap for way too long, and I want to do something about it.
Have you looked at the software the payroll department gets stuck with? It’s tough stuff. Everybody talks about flashy data and analytics. Have you heard of any big launches of new payroll software lately? No, you haven’t. Why? Because payroll software is the opposite of sexy. If payroll software were a movie star, it would be Jonah Hill or John Goodman. Solid, funny, but not able to carry a movie on its own.
Payroll software is so boring that vendors give out energy drinks before they do a demo at the annual HR Technology & Exposition. Payroll software is so boring the rep will fall asleep giving you the demo. And speaking of that rep, he’s so dull that he took the Pepsi challenge and picked Sprite.
(Your turn. You make a joke in the comments!)
See where this is going? Payroll — and the ladies who do it — get no respect. Not because they aren’t totally and completely awesome and sexy, but because the tools we give them are bringing down their level of organizational sexiness.
Want to know why Cindy in talent acquisition is drop dead gorgeous (for reasons other than her addiction to CrossFit and her insane diet)? She has sexy software to use, my friends. She uses recruitment automation and has analytics with sexy charts to back up her point of view.
What does Elaine in payroll have (I mean, besides that 12-year-old mug from ADP)? Well, Elaine is a sexy machine in disguise. She uses a system that is bulletproof and withstood Y2K. She drops thousands of checks per week, without fail, to hundreds of different banks. Then she manages two loser employees who still want a paper check.
(Who are those dudes and can they go away?)
Elaine can also handle numerous federal, state and local tax codes. She knows every combination imaginable of insurance copays and 401(k) deposits. She has this all done before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, too.
Remember CrossFit Cindy in talent acquisition? She needs 23 days to find you a payroll assistant with all of her flashy technology. I’d like to see Cindy do payroll. Elaine would eat her for breakfast.
I just wanted to let everyone know I love payroll ladies and I send some much-needed love to the payroll department. There’s nothing sexier than a function with reliable software that does exactly what it is supposed to do, every day. Payroll delivers — day in and day out — and the software can withstand a nuclear meltdown.
I think that’s sexy.